The main organization for Catholic owners of multi-million dollar businesses announced it placed its annual Vatican tithe in escrow following recent scandals.
Legatus, a lay organization of Catholic business owners founded by Domino’s Pizza founder Thomas Monaghan, revealed the decision Thursday, saying that while the organization remains devoted to the church, they require further clarification on the Vatican’s measures of financial accountability and how exactly their charitable contributions are used.
The decision follows inquiries from Legatus members to the organization’s Board of Governors concerning Pennsylvania’s grand jury report on sexual abuse, allegations against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’s accusations against Pope Francis and 32 other high-ranking church officials. (RELATED: Bishop Calls Cardinals Who Deny Knowing About McCarrick’s Abuses Liars, ‘We All Knew’)
“The Board has decided to place the Holy See annual tithe in escrow, pending further determination (by the Board). We certainly pledge our continued devotion to Holy Mother Church, and recognize the tithe has been an important commitment of Legatus since our founding. However, in light of recent revelations and questions, we believe it appropriate to respectfully request clarification regarding the specific use of these funds,” the letter reads.
The amount Legatus is placing in escrow will total about $820,000.
Monaghan also noted in the letter Legatus’ support for Cardinal Daniel DiNardo’s call for a thorough investigation into recent findings of widespread abuse and cover-ups within the church and further allegations against church officials. DiNardo is the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Pope Francis has thus far remained silent concerning the allegations that he played a part in covering up sexual abuse allegations against McCarrick and has actually advocated a strategy of silence and prayer in the face of growing demands for transparency and answers.
Legatus’ vision is for its members to be “Ambassadors for Christ in the Marketplace.” To that end, members must be Catholics in good standing and must president or CEO of a business that employs at least 49 people and makes at least $6.5 million in annual revenue, according to National Catholic Register. Catholic owners of a financial service company that manages $275 million in assets and employs at least 10 people may also be members.
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